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Logic Studio apps Korg nanoKontrol 2 & Main Stage

Discussion in 'MainStage' started by xrc, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. xrc

    xrc Member


    I took the advice of some of you and picked up a Korg NanoKontrol2 controller. Basically, I can use it. But, I end up getting things messed up. I guess I'm NOT a midi expert and get somewhat confused. The DX7s connection is fine. One problem I had was I had four knobs. 3 could be assigned. But, the 4th one couldn't no matter what I did. Although it was Blue when selected, the knob showed no movement.
    Another strange thing happened is I had a few software instruments say 3 or 4 in channel strips. But, there was only one layer shown on the keyboard.
    Other problems arise when I'm assigning a slider or knob and it controls two channel strips at once. Ah well, I'm pretty new at this. And can anyone give me some basic set-up rules that I should beware of? thanks
  3. Doug Zangar

    Doug Zangar Senior member

    I have the NanoKontrol vs1, so I'm somewhat familiar with the unit. As I understand it, there should be a driver and editing software for this version. Make sure you have both installed - you for sure need the driver, may need the editing software.

    On to MainStage. The premise here is you use Layout mode to map screen control objects to hardware. With MainStage open and the NanoKontrol connected, wiggle the knobs, sliders, etc and look at the MIDI activity window. Each control MUST have a unique MIDI CC number (first number is MIDI channel, second is CC). If there are any duplicates of CC numbers those controls will control the SAME function as MS uses the CC number for mapping

    I've been told you can assign the CC numbers of each control with the editing software. Basically you want a generic MIDI mapping - there may be a template for such.

    The layer view is adjusted in Layout mode - select the keyboard, look at the lower part of the inspector to find the layer setting.

    FYI, blue indicates the screen control is selected in MS. You still have to activate the "assign" button (or command L) to map hardware to the screen control.

    Edit mode is to map screen controls to elements of the channel strip. You can view, create or break mapping there. Might be the place to look at why you're getting one screen control to control multiple channel strips.
  4. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    I don't know if it is has to do with your problem ... If I remember the description right, the nanoKONTROL 2 can run in Mackie Mode. For Mainstage make sure that you have it in normal MIDI mode, not using the Mackie protocol.
  5. Doug Zangar

    Doug Zangar Senior member

    Hate to say it, but I think it's RTFM time for the NanoKontrol 2. Start on page 5 and read about CC mode. I'm sure that's what you want.
  6. xrc

    xrc Member


    as I said I'm not a Midi expert. confusing to me...manual and all. Basically, I have most of the NanoKontrol2 under control. If I can Kontrol myself...anyway. There are some confusing points that I don't understand.
    I have a concert with three patches. There are between 3~4 software channels... Patch 1 & 3 which uses the same knob control as Patch 2 which works. but for some reason the same knob in patch 2 doesn't have an effect. I've tried to go back to Layout (to re-assign it).

    Here are a few questions: Create the screen in Layout and assign instruments, knobs sliders etc. then in Concert (this is where I'm confused)
    or in each Patch itself?

    All my connections are fine. Most everything can be assigned. But, since I didn't grow up in a computer universe, it's a bit tougher for me. I first started with an Amiga 500 then onto a A4000 w/Video Toaster.... bet that's history....

    One other question. Looking at "Send to All". It shows. (pic below)
    I'm not sure what that means. I'm only using my DX7s as a controller.
    There are only 4 sliders and a Pitch and Modulation wheel. As well as an OFF/ON I can assign. I'm not using an DX7s sounds.

    Screen shot 2012-03-07 at 4.32.51 PM.jpg

    If you see any goof ups please let me know!
    Well, I'll mess around with it after work a bit more. thanks.
  7. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    If this small multilingual nanoKONTROL folder is the only manual available, I understand you very well. One has to know what to search for, otherwise it's a terrible mess.

    Just make sure that you do NOT work in Mackie Control mode. This mode is specialized in bidirectional communication with a DAW like Logic. If the Mackie protocol sends you weird things and Mainstage learns messages more or less accidently from multiple incoming events, we cannot help you if something does not work.

    At least during your learning phase let Midi Monitor run beside Mainstage to see what's going on when you do something on the nanoKONTROL. Filter "Active sense" if the nano sends it to see only messages generated by yourself.

    Not only on Concert level. You assign the buttons, knobs and sliders where you need them. This may be Concert or Set or Patch. If you have a slider for the overall volume you must assign it on Concert level because there is the output channelstrip. Then you can use the slider in all patches but it will always control the main volume.

    If you want to control something in a Set, you assign the slider there and it will control this parameter from each Patch within this set.

    If something is assigned on Patch level, it controls only this patch. But the same slider can have a different function in another Patch. So you don't have to make 20 different knobs for 20 different patches but rather assign a few knobs and use the parameter text to show you what each knob currently does.

    Speaking of levels, Mainstage has a strict hierarchy:

    —> Set
    ——> Patch

    You can use this hierarchical structure for your organization. It is not a matter of doing it right or wrong, it is a matter of proper planning. Make a concept for your performance. Everything that is common for all Patches goes to Concert level. Typically this are the outputs (they are already there), perhaps a reverb or other effects most of your patches may have in common.

    Many people organize (or should organize) their pieces in Sets. A Set is a container for patches. In performance mode it is not selectable but the Set itself it can hold channelstrips for things which are common for it's group of patches.

    The Patch is the lowest level and here you make the individual stuff.

    For Set- and Concert level you may want to use Aux channelstrips. Don't get nervous when Mainstage puts new Aux Channels always on Concert level. Mainstage tries to be smart but it has no idea what you want to do. Cut and paste the channelstrips, put them where you think they should stay and delete what you don't need. It's a bit annoying to fight against the automatism.

    Here is an example "setlist" and you can display it in Mainstage (the Concert name is not part of the list, it's a text box):


    The hierarchy of this display follows the hierarchy of your Sets and Patches and highlights the currently selected Patch.

    Here is a part of the layout of one of my performaces. I played bass, acoustic guitar and windcontroller. Althought I used a ton of effects on each instrument, I have everything just in one set called "Fuzzy Dream":


    This means, I step once on the foot controller to select the appropriate instrument (= Patch) and all effects and sound settings for this instrument are immediately available.

    The 3 patches were pretty big and it would have been more logical to make a set for each instrument and have the effects better organized but in this case it is not practical on stage because patch switching would happen too often.

    As you see, a great part of the work with Mainstage is your own organization. Don't randomly generate patches and channelstrips and assign them to something. You would end up reorganizing your setup over and over, reassigning buttons and knobs a thousand times. Think about your music, decide how exactly (!) you want to use your controller and force Mainstage to follow your demands.

    I don't know. I think I have never used it and it does not do what the manual says. Or I don't understand the manual ...
  8. Doug Zangar

    Doug Zangar Senior member

    This is a way to send a command from a given controller to ALL channel strips in a patch. Set it to CS volume, for example, and they all jump to the controller value. Same with Pan. Another useful example might be changing octaves, useful if you want all the CS sounds to change octaves together.

    Peter - great reply btw. Your replies could be manuals....!
  9. xrc

    xrc Member

    Thanks again (both) replies!

    Well, I have it under control now. I missed the SET. I'll take a better look at all the info when I get home from work. Yes, Midi Monitor shows the correct settings. I'm not in Mackie mode.
    Next, you're totally right. One has to be well organized and set up MS knowing what set, patch has what effects and sounds.

    For example: I have my DX7s ON/OFF buttons assigned to the put the Loops On & Off. Also have a Master Volume set (nanoKontroller2). and almost everything else is fine. As you said, it's mainly my own mistakes as I tend to improvise my way thru and end up with things that sound good randomly. But, the downfall is not knowing or having full control of MS.

    I'll have to work with this more. If you looked at my picture of my MS set up, what I thought were patches are actually SETS. Each set has it's own drum beat and instruments, effects, Loops etc.

    Question: I have a guitar Loop on Ch. Strip 1, but that is also the Drum track. Which I can randomly hit some of the lower keys on my DX7 to get different beats or rolls or breaks (manually) so it sounds real. That's fine isn't it?

    One more question. What would you suggest that I do to run each Ch. Strip Reverb and Delay with each Ch Strip separately. I of course can move them manually with the mouse. Or should I assign a Global Reverb and Delay to two knobs only?

    Well, I'd say thanks again, let me work with this for a few days. But, the basic set up is connected fine. Just some fine tuning and organization on my part should do the trick.
  10. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    This is what the manual says but I cannot get it to work.

    It does not send to all channelstrips here. It sends only to those where a keyboard object is assigned and if this "Keyboard Destination" is selected in the "Send to All" menu. But then I cannot change the relationship between the volume faders. And "Send to All" does not seem to work for audio channelstrips.

    No, I don't think I will ever use this. If I want multiple mappings I prefer to make multiple mappings and have them under control.
  11. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    I don't understand this:
    "I have a guitar Loop on Ch. Strip 1, but that is also the Drum track."
    What is a "guitar loop" and how can it be in the same channelstrip with a "drum track"? How do you generate the sounds?

    Depends on what you want to do:

    Global effects should be on Concert or on Set level.

    If you want to control the reverb and delay effects themselves, independently from patches and their channelstrips, put them on Concert level and assign two knobs to them.

    If you want to control them based on the Set, you got to put the two on Set level. Then each Set would contain reverb and delay. You still need only two knobs overall, because you can map the same knobs for each Set and they can control the reverb and delay of the Set you are currently in.

    If you want to leave reverb and delay always on but control the amount of reverb and delay for each channelstrip within a Patch, put the two effects also on Concert or Set level but assign as many knobs as you have sends to them in one patch. Let's say you have 6 sends in your largest Patch, then you make 6 knobs to control the sends for reverb and delay. Maybe some patches have only 4 or 2 sends, this is no problem. The remaining knobs would just be inactive in these patches because they aren't assigned.
  12. Doug Zangar

    Doug Zangar Senior member

    I think you've figured it out - I actually don't remember what the manual says. It is set up per controller as you noticed and what I didn't realize is that it DOESN"T affect audio channel strips as you pointed out.

    I never use the function either, preferring to do multiple mappings as needed.
  13. xrc

    xrc Member

    Maybe trying to do too much!

    Let me explain about Ultrabeat and Loopback (guitar) both in Ch Strip #1.... I usually end up with these (not usual strange settings)
    I have the Ultrabeat drum playing on Ch Strip one. (turned on by button On/Off DX7 or SpaceBar... I've also made a Loopback recording of my guitar. Also on Ch. Strip 1. I mean it works but.....

    Got watch mistakes such as...Sometimes I "Import my Loopback" but it's the wrong one and has a different timing. So, yes, Organizing is most important. I guess I should save Export Loopback files/sounds each in their own patch folder. Including the Ch Strip #.

    So for example if I have a patch with 4 Ch strip instruments called "ExoSpaze" I should make a folder containing the four instruments/sounds in that patch! ex. #1 Exo drum #2 Exo bass #3 Exo synth #4 Exo noize.

    Because I might use "Bass" in all 3 Patchess but they all might have a different time signature, sound, amp etc.

    Next, I've been having a problem with not being able to assign two NanoKontrol2 knobs. When I MAP they are selected Blue and change red but when I turn them nothing happens. Now I figured it out (i think) I can't use a knob for ex. while setting a Reverb "Gain" knob because it's a slider icon right? But, if I do, it ends up that the slider controls the knob as well.

    A knob can't be MAPPED to a slider or a Slider can't be Mapped to a knob right! (unless one runs both) which is a waste, because each can be used for a different option.

    And next.... I'm using a DX7s all midi connections are fine etc. But, I'm only using it as a Controller. I usually playback using Logic software instruments/synths. MidiMonitor sees my DX7 as Ch 16. KorgNanoKontrol2 is Ch. 1. How can I use my DX7s (all edited by me internal sounds in the DX7). I can easily use a guitar jack out of the DX7 for an Audio Channel Ch Strip. But, what can I do to use it going through midi?

    When I tried this before (Ex. midi instruments) it brought up a normal instrument list, which weren't the one's I made. Nor could I get any sound from the external midi list when I selected any of one of them.

    1) Would it be possible to be able to use the DX7 playing the DX7 (Internal edited sounds that I made) at the same time as using a software instrument on another channel strip?

    or would I have to record the DX7 internal separately at a different time?

    Most assigns are fine, but back to organizing. I have my DX7 pitch/modulation set to the DX7 wheels. (fine)

    I basically use the sliders for Ch. strip 1~5 for Volume(s) 1~5 (NanoKontrol 2) and slider 8 as the Master.

    Some sets I use some of the knobs as Pan. But, I'd like to also use for separate Reverb or Delay parameters. How about 1~5 knobs as Pan 6...7...8 as R?D parameters?
    I have some button On/Off set to the DX7 on Loopback (to play/stop). But sometimes end up using my Space Bar Play/Stop... gets confusing.....

    More later when I play around with this more. thanks

    any advice would do!
  14. Doug Zangar

    Doug Zangar Senior member

    I don't believe this is true. I have a hardware slider mapped to a screen control knob. The screen control knob is then mapped to a Space Designer reverb output slider. It works fine......

    You need to have MIDI in from the DX7 to MainStage (which you have). You also need MIDI from MainStage back into the DX7 (do you have this?) Then an External Channel strip can work, assuming it is sending on a channel the DX7 is set to receive on.

    Then you need to deal with the audio generated from the DX7's internal sounds. You could route it to its own amp, PA, etc. or you could return it to MainStage via the computer's built-in audio (not great audio) or an audio interface.

    Also, it would be much easier to help you if you ask one specific question at a time.....
  15. xrc

    xrc Member

    O.K. 1 ? at a time.

    Just to reply...
    Yes, I do have a Midi (In) to the DX7. But it's plugged into THRU. Shall I plug it into (In)?

    DX7 Edit mode...I just set Midi (In) to Ch 16...which is the same Midi Ch as (Out).
    Minor questions in relation to Midi.
    Omni (should be On or Off?)

    Perhaps I can only use one channel at a time In/Out of the DX7.

  16. Doug Zangar

    Doug Zangar Senior member

    It's been so long since I've used outboard gear, I gotta think about this.........

    Please move the MIDI cable from the Thru port to the In port. The Thru port is to pass along MIDI information to the next device in the chain. For example, you have MIDI info coming in on channels 16 and 10. You have your DX7 receiving on ch 16, you have information on channel 10 that the DX7 would not respond to. But, a drum machine set to ch 10 cabled to the MIDI Thru port would respond to ch 10 info (and not ch 16).

    OMNI - that is a choice when you want your device to respond to all MIDI channels (1-16).

    I don't know how the DX7 is designed, you may only be able to use one MIDI in/out channel
  17. xrc

    xrc Member

    Everything was somewhat fine then!!!!

    I don't know what happened, but my MS2 suddenly changed and all the instrument "Expression" knobs were now under the control of the DX7s CS2 slider. I didn't assign anything recently to that DX7 slider. (Only two) besides volume. But now every set and patch "Expression" knob is effected by the DX7 CS2 slider. I have about 4 concerts...and all are effected. As well as all my patches need to be re-assigned. Any ideas of my mistake(s)? Thanks
  18. Doug Zangar

    Doug Zangar Senior member

    Not sure what is up - possible scenarios.

    You changed a setting inside the DX7.

    You inadvertently mapped said slider to do what it's doing.

    You checked "Send assigned MIDI..." (see attached).

    Attached Files:

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